DUI/OVI checkpoints are a common tool used to catch drunk drivers, particularly around holidays and other major events. These checkpoints can be nerve-wracking for any driver, so it is important to know how to conduct yourself so you can be back on the road quickly and with minimal hassle. Here are some tips to help you if you are stopped at a DUI/OVI checkpoint this holiday season.
- Have your driver’s license, car registration, and proof of insurance ready. Fumbling with these documents may be interpreted as a sign of intoxication.
- Turn off your radio or music. Police won’t want to shout over your blasting music.
- Do not use your cellphone while stopped and waiting for your turn. Doing so can still be observed and may be ticketed. It also may be seen as a sign of intoxication.
- Using a DUI/OVI flyer to inform police that you refuse to consent to a search and will not answer questions will result in a longer detention. The police do have a right to see your license, registration, and insurance information at these stops. You may even be ticketed for having an invalid license if you refuse to cooperate, and will have to call someone with a valid license to drive your car home or risk impoundment.
- You do not have to answer questions after providing the requested documents. You may simply state that you will not answer questions. The officer is looking for slurred speech or other signs of impairment. You may be examined more closely if you refuse to answer questions, but it is possible that you may be cleared to leave if they see no other signs of intoxication.
- If you have admitted to having a drink or seem intoxicated or not alert, you may be asked to move your car to the side and perform field sobriety tests. You should politely comply with moving your car, but you may decline to perform sobriety tests.
- You should decline to answer questions about where you are leaving, where you are heading, and if you have had any alcohol before the stop.
- Police cannot request you to take a blood, breath, or urine test without probable cause to believe that you are intoxicated while driving. You may decline to take any chemical, breath, or field sobriety tests, but you should be aware that physical signs of impairment, such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or a lack of coordination can be used as probable cause and may cause your license to be suspended for refusing tests.
If you are arrested for a DUI, don’t hesitate to call our West Chester DUI/OVI attorneys. You have a limited amount of time to protect your driving privileges, so it is important to begin your defense immediately. The Meadows Law Firm can help you protect your rights and your driver’s license.
Contact our offices to learn how we can help you. Call our office to request a complimentary case evaluation.